Taking inspiration from Jack Smith: Abstract Portraits (Pick up a pencil)- National Portrait Gallery

Over the weekend I attended the pick up a pencil workshop at the National Portrait Gallery which was based on the inspiration from Jack Smith’s portraits. I really enjoyed going to the workshop because it allowed me to loosen up which relating my ideas towards Jack Smith’s portraits. This was due to the idea of working with a different types of materials and processes which involved the use of acetate with sharpie’s and drawing people as they were moving but focusing on the shapes not so much the details and seeing symbols that represented them. Furthermore the various types of activities they held at the National Portrait Gallery yesterday allowed me to broaden my mind up more into how I wanted to present portraits. In a way I didn’t feel restricted because I wasn’t following a specific method, I allowed the materials I was using to take me in a new direction no rules, no instructions doing it the ‘freedom way’, ‘the loosened way’.

Furthermore I really enjoyed working with artist Ray Richardson because it allowed me to see how he also responded to what the workshop was about and how he demonstrated his ideas towards 14-21 year old’s who also took part in the workshop.  I liked the way how we took apart different part of portrait images we used and we drew them so that they had a completely new transformation which was both exciting and enjoyable. It allowed me to see how I could become more explorative towards the way I display portraits towards the viewer. In addition as I was creating the new portraits it allowed me to see how various types of new stories were being created through the idea of the picture ageing due to the way that certain parts of the image was been dismantled, changed, manipulated and constructed into a completely new dimension.

By doing the workshop it allowed me to look more closely into the images and see what new types of creations could be created if the images for say were torn up, created into a completely new dimension or were ripped up. Here are some examples of some of the new creations I did and how they have an impact towards the development of my work because in some ways I may use some of the new techniques again within the style of painting, imprinting or combining both painting and photography together. Jack Smith’s exhibition definitely had a huge impact on me because of the way it allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and try something completely different which in a way would make my work more exciting and travel on a new path that I wouldn’t expect to come across. These are some of the creations that I decided to create during the 2 hour process and some of the photos a photographer took of us while we were doing the workshop.

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These are some of the creations I did

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This is the Jack Smith exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery

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